Cornell Regular Decision

July 25, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Cornell Regular Decision

The Morrill Act of 1862, passed by the US Congress and granting lands to states to help fund the establishment of colleges and universities with a focus on agriculture and the mechanical arts, was what allowed Cornell University to be founded in 1865.

Ezra Cornell, the creator of the Western Union Telegraph Company, also endowed Cornell privately. In 1868, the institution’s doors were first opened to 412 male students. After two years, Cornell University began to accept female students, making it the country’s first college to do so.

When Cornell University was established soon after the American Civil War, it was intended for it to be a coeducational, nonsectarian institution that welcomed students of all racial and religious backgrounds.

Cornell University experienced exponential growth in the 20th century; by the end of the century, there were 3,400 faculty members on campus, and enrollment had reached its current level. The majority of students hope to attend Cornell University. Given that it is one of the most prestigious schools in the US and possibly the entire world, it is not surprising.

But you might be wondering what makes the institution unique from the other Ivy League schools and other prestigious colleges in Ithaca, New York.

Cornell University building with a tree near it.

Being the Ivy League school with the highest acceptance rate makes Cornell University special. To add, there are almost nightly parties at this big school. In fact, Newsweek ranked it as the 13th best party school a while back.

Last but not the least, the business and STEM programs at Cornell are well-known.

When Is Cornell’s Regular Decision Due?

One important question to ask “When is Cornell’s regular decision due?” Cornell regular decision’s application deadline for first-year admissions is January 2. The admissions decision is typically communicated to applicants early in the month of April at Cornell. The transfer application deadline for the spring semester is October 15. Cornell notifies applicants in November of its decision.

Let’s find out more with the following First-year Student Admission Timeline:

Submission of all required application materials Jan-02
Deadline for Financial aid application materials (international students) Jan-02
Deadline for Financial aid application materials (U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens) Feb-15
Deadline for Architecture and Art Portfolio and Interview More info
College of Human Ecology Design Supplements (for those applying to DEA and FD&M) More info
Announcement of admission decisions and financial aid awards Early April
Deadline for the reply to offer of admission May-01

How Selective Is Cornell?

GPA Requirements for Cornell Admission

It’s extremely challenging to get into Cornell. You might wonder “How selective is Cornell?”

To be competitive, you must have a high GPA and show that you have previously taken difficult coursework.

The applicants to Cornell who were accepted had an average unweighted GPA of 3.8. To meet or beat this average, your report card must be primarily “A” grades.

To get good grades, though, that doesn’t mean you should fill your schedule with easy courses. Cornell wants to know that you can push yourself intellectually. To demonstrate that you can handle challenging academic coursework, you should enroll in honors, AP, or IB classes whenever possible.

Requirements for Admission Based on Test Scores

Your academic record includes more than just your GPA. Standardized tests are also required by Cornell to assess your college readiness academically.

What SAT scores are required for admission to Cornell?

The typical SAT score of admitted candidates at Cornell is 1490.

In the 25th percentile, applicants’ average composite score is 1410; in the 75th percentile, it is 1530. To be competitive with the other applicants vying for admission to Cornell, you must receive a score of 1490 or higher. If your SAT scores aren’t where you’d like them to be, put your time and effort into creating and following a reliable training schedule.

What ACT scores must I obtain to be admitted to Cornell?

The typical ACT score of accepted candidates at Cornell University is 34. Students in the 25th percentile typically score 32; those in the 75th percentile typically score 35.

Male student looking intently at his laptop.

Basically, this data indicates that in order to be competitive with the test scores of your fellow applicants, you’ll need an ACT score of 34 or higher.

Essays for Cornell: How to Apply

You are only required to respond to one essay prompt at Cornell. The question you’ll respond to depends on which Cornell college you’re applying to.

Authenticity is crucial in all college admissions essays. Although you may have a wide range of academic interests, for this essay, stick with what you are most knowledgeable and passionate about. Additionally, your potential topic needs to align with the college’s majors.

These are the Cornell University essay questions for 2021–2022:

Please respond to the essay question below (maximum of 650 words) in the online Common Application Writing Supplement for the undergraduate college or school you are applying to:

  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Why are you drawn to studying the major you have selected? Please discuss how your interests and related experiences have influenced your choice. Specifically, how will an education from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and Cornell University help you achieve your academic goals?
  • College of Architecture, Art, and Planning: What is your “thing”? What energizes you or engages you so deeply that you lose track of time? Everyone has different passions, obsessions, quirks, and inspirations. What are yours?
  • College of Arts and Sciences: Students in Arts and Sciences embrace the opportunity to delve into multifaceted academic interests, embodying in 21st-century terms Ezra Cornell’s “any person … any study” founding vision. Tell us about the areas of study you are excited to explore, and specifically why you wish to pursue them in our College.
  • Cornell SC Johnson College of Business: Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management: What kind of a business student are you? The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business offers two distinct business programs, the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the School of Hotel Administration. Please describe how your interests and ambitions can be met through one or both of the Schools within the College.
  • College of Engineering: Applicants must write responses to two of the three essay options. They may choose which two prompts they write about—their choice. Each response is limited to a maximum of 200 words.
    • Engineering is inherently collaborative. What does collaboration mean to you? What strengths do you bring to the collaborative process?
    • For you, what makes Cornell Engineering special? Why do you want to attend Cornell Engineering?
    • Diversity in all definitional forms is intrinsic to excellence in engineering. Indeed, devising the best-engineered solutions to complex problems is often achieved by drawing from the diverse ingenuity of people from broadly different backgrounds, lived experiences, and identities. How do you see yourself contributing to the diversity and inclusion of the Cornell Engineering community? What is the unique voice you would bring to the Cornell Engineering community?
  • College of Human Ecology: How has your decision to apply to the College of Human Ecology been influenced by your related experiences? How will your choice of major impact your goals and plans for the future?
  • School of Industrial and Labor Relations: Using your personal, academic, or volunteer/work experiences, describe the topics or issues that you care about and why they are important to you. Your response should show us that your interests align with the ILR School.

You make check AdmissionSight’s take on the ultimate guide to writing the Cornell Supplemental Essays.

Four Categories of Students the Cornell Admission Officers Prefer

1. Admission office analyze your intellectual capacity.

The level of rigor and difficulty of the coursework is one of the most important aspects of the Cornell application.

Numerous pupils achieve high GPAs in their high schools. Since most students have nearly identical grades and classes, the “best” students are separated from the general overachievers by taking AP classes and taking standardized tests like the SAT or ACT.

Female student looking at her laptop with a hand on her face.

The AP and SAT/ACT tests are also a better indicator of a student’s intellectual capacity because it is challenging to determine whether one student’s 4.0 is equivalent to that of another due to grade inflation and unequal teaching resources.

Students are encouraged to enroll in local community college courses to show their ardent passion for learning, in addition to taking AP classes and performing well on the SAT/ACT. Naturally, these college courses should be relevant to the student’s intended field of study so that the admissions committee can form a complete picture of the applicant.

Academically challenging oneself is highly advised because Cornell wants to make sure the applicant is capable of handling the coursework and employment at a prestigious university like Cornell once on campus.

2. Character matters a lot.

Cornell is looking for students with exceptional character who will go on to accomplish great things or who will genuinely care about and try to help those around them.

The essays and recommendation letters present one of the greatest chances for students to demonstrate their character and abilities. As a result, students should make sure to get recommendations from teachers who can give them specific feedback. Students should concentrate on communicating their best qualities in their essays while staying true to themselves.

Students should exercise caution when discussing their shortcomings. If you want to discuss a challenge or flaw, you must tell a story about how you triumphed over it rather than how you battled it. Ask yourself if the person in the essay is someone you will admire as you review your personal statement and supplemental essays. You should also ask “Do I want to be friends with the person”

If the answer is yes, you have made one more step toward Cornellian status.

3. An important criterion: involvement.

Cornell is looking for students who are active in their communities or areas of interest, whether that involvement comes from leadership roles, extracurricular activities, volunteering, or community involvement.

Sports and musical performances are typical examples of extracurricular activities. Students are advised to try to set themselves apart from other students by winning state or national recognition, despite the fact that many people engage in such activities.

In order to stand out from the tens of thousands of applicants, it may also be more advantageous for students to engage in more distinctive and meaningful extracurricular activities, such as starting their own businesses or building sizable social media followings devoted to educating or empowering others.

Admissions officers can always tell if students are acting in a particular way just to enhance their application. For instance, if everyone volunteers at the same local hospital or library, or if it has nothing to do with your academic interests, 100 hours of service is not particularly impressive.

Finding the right mix of extracurricular activities, they enjoy while demonstrating involvement is crucial for students.

4. Cornell Admissions wants to ensure that you are a good fit.

The student’s fit with Cornell is the most difficult to assess and frequently disregarded component of the application.

Admissions officers at Cornell look for applicants who have “Cornell potential” rather than just any applicant. What precisely does that entail? To put it another way, the best candidates are those who seem like they would fit in and be at home in the Cornell community.

Even the most exceptional applicant who has followed all instructions can be turned down by Cornell for a lack of “fit.”

The school-specific Cornell supplemental essay is the best tool for students to demonstrate their compatibility with Cornell University. In this essay, students discuss why they chose their academic specialties and how they plan to use Cornell’s resources and education to achieve their goals.

What Is Cornell’s Acceptance Rate for Regular Admission?

The information regarding the Class of 2026 was not made public by Cornell. From a total of 67,380 applicants, Cornell accepted 5,852 for the Class of 2025 last year. Previous years saw Cornell receive 49,118 and 51,500 applications for the Class of 2023 and Class of 2024, respectively. Let’s take a look at the answer (from the past five years) to “What is Cornell’s acceptance rate for regular admission?”

Class Cornell Regular Decision Accepted Applications Cornell Regular Decision Received Applications Cornell Regular Decision Admissions Acceptance Rate
2025 3,922 58,363 6.72%
2024 3,920 44,870 8.73%
2023 3,788 42,959 8.82%
2022 3,755 45,009 8.34%
2021 4,511 41,654 10.83%

What Are the Odds of Getting Off the Waitlist?

What are the odds of getting off the waitlist? The likelihood of receiving an offer of admission from the wait list cannot be predicted by the university.

Every year, Cornell uses the waitlist, but this year, the pandemic has once again changed how things are going, and everything is unsure due to the uncertainties caused by the global pandemic.

As many as 190 students have been admitted (and as few as 24 students) from the waitlist over the past five years, on average 4,500 applicants per year confirmed a spot at Cornell University.

In contrast, among the 79 ranked National Universities that provided this information to U.S. News in an annual survey, they listed the 10 colleges which admitted the fewest waitlisted applicants for the fall 2019 semester. The highest reported admission rate among these 10 universities was 4.4% at Cornell University in New York.

The number of applicants who accepted the spot on the waitlist is 3,362 and the applicants who were eventually admitted added up to 147.

How Do You Increase Your Chances of Getting into Cornell?

One of the most crucial questions you should ask yourself and start to look into is how do you increase your chances of getting into Cornell.

Old University building surrounded by grass.

You should keep in mind the presumptive Cornell GPA requirements, typical Cornell SAT scores, the Cornell acceptance rate, and the Cornell supplemental essays. However, when deciding how to get into Cornell, you should also consider how well you would fit in at the school.

In conclusion, you should watch a Q&A panel with current students, read an article about student life, and check the Cornell news in addition to your Cornell interview. You should also visit campus or take a virtual tour.

You can decide whether to apply to Cornell Early Decision or the Cornell Regular Decision by doing research on the institution. You can also develop a plan for “how to get into Cornell” by doing this. Above all, you should ensure that Cornell is a good fit for you in addition to demonstrating that you are a good fit for Cornell.

Here are additional tips for getting into Cornell:

Begin early.

Give yourself plenty of time to complete all the requirements by the deadline you select for the Cornell application.

If you decide to apply through Cornell Early Decision, this is especially crucial. If you decide to submit your Cornell SAT scores, you must be able to finish the supplemental essays and do so before the application deadline for Cornell.

Utilize any and all chances to shine.

If a Cornell interview is offered, accept it! Make the effort to write sincere and unique Cornell supplemental essays. These qualitative aspects of your application can make you stand out, particularly if you are concerned about not meeting the presumed Cornell GPA requirements.

Avoid obsessing over numbers.

While expected Cornell SAT scores and GPA requirements are important, they are not the most crucial aspect of your application.

The absence of official Cornell GPA requirements and the option to submit optional Cornell SAT and ACT scores are indications that the Cornell admissions process is more holistic than purely quantitative. Also, don’t let the low acceptance rate for the Cornell class of 2025 intimidate you!

Young man looking away while in front of her laptop.

Just concentrate on putting together the best application you can and developing a solid “how to get into Cornell” plan.

AdmissionSight is also available to assist you in developing a Cornell admissions strategy. You can visit AdmissionSight to view our programs and success stories for assisting students in gaining admission to their dream schools.

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